Allan C. Mathew, Ph.D.
Director of Graduate Admissions
Tufts University (MA)

What drew you to the world of college admission counseling?
I had worked as a work-study for the admissions office for most of my bachelor’s degree and even in the summers. I loved the interaction between students/families and the institution. In my final semester, the director of admissions asked if I would consider a career in higher education and admissions. I never imagined a career in higher education, but her willingness to ask me and engage me gave me hope that it could be a great landing spot. I never thought I’d have lasted as long as I have, but I have loved admissions and enrollment management.

What is your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part of the job is digging into the marketing, analytics, and student perspective in recruitment. It matters how we do our job, represent the institution, and most importantly, how receptive students are to the messaging. As higher education is asked to provide a deeper sense of ROI and outcomes, I am excited about how institutions can be transformational for students while centering experience, outcomes, and community.

How has NACAC played a role in your career?
I started my career in undergraduate admissions focused on the recruitment of students of color, so the original intent of participating in NACAC was to help cultivate ideas, understand trends, and find other folks of color doing work in admissions. Those intentions have been sustained and particularly focused on how graduate admissions fits in the broader landscape of admissions and how institutions can find ways to support access and inclusion in the admissions process. I have also become more and more interested in the development and support of admissions professionals of color.

What do you think is the biggest challenge facing our profession today?
I think the biggest challenges facing the profession, outside of the challenges commonly spotlighted by the media, would be around the development and support of professionals. It has become more and more clear to me that many people are leaving the admissions profession for a multitude of reasons, but one that I keep hearing regularly is how they feel unsupported, or there is no clear progression for them early in the profession. As a profession, we need to continue to develop and grow our professionals to ensure there is a diverse and robust pipeline of leaders.

When you aren’t working, what do you like to do?
When I am not working, I spend time with my wife and our 1.5-year-old son. We love being outside, either walking or hiking somewhere. We love traveling and exploring new cities and areas. Most of the time, you could also find me on a golf course somewhere. I also love cheering on my Philadelphia sports!!

What five words would you use to describe yourself?
Thoughtful. Engaged. Motivated. Future-Oriented. Culture-Conscious.


Published Feb. 20, 2023